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Besir Demiri - best young player at half-season

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Besir Demiri; photo: KF ShkendijaBesir Demiri; photo: KF ShkendijaThe MacedonianFootball.com award for "Best Young Player" during the first half of the season goes to Besir Demiri of Shkendija.

The 21-year-old Besir Demiri caught our attention with his outstanding performances for the second-placed team of Shkendija. He mostly played as a central and defensive midfielder, but Demiri was also featured at left-back when needed. Demiri was a true revelation this half-season as not many people expected the Macedonia U21 member to become a regular starter given the competition at Shkendija.

Demiri moved to Shkendija during the winter transfer window last season. He was signed from Shkupi, a team that competed in the Second League at that time. His determination and hard work resulted in Muhamed Useini, a long-time member of Shkendija, losing his spot among the starters.

Besim played in 16 games during the first half, only missing the two other matches due to a muscle strain. He played the full 90 minutes in 15 of those, and managed to compile one goal and two assists. Despite being our pick for best young player, we did not include him in our Team of the first half-season simply because he faced tough competition in Nikola Gligorov and Milovan Petrovikj.

Mevlan Murati was also in the conversation for this award, but he fell just short in second place. The 21-year-old Shkupi right-back quickly became a regular and established himself as one of the top players on the team. He played a big part in Shkupi being one of the pleasant surprised thus far in the season. Murati recorded one assist in his 16 appearance. The only games he missed were against Shkendija, his parent club. However, Murati was not eligible to play in those fixtures as part of the loan agreement between Shkupi and Shkendija.

Third place went to Kire Markoski of Rabotnichki. As a 20-year-old right winger, Kire spent only a few games at his natural position. Instead, he was often fielded at right back, left wing or secondary striker due to injury/depth issues for Rabotnichki. He featured in 16 games, amassing one goal and two assists.

Other players that we considered (in alphabetical order) include: Angelche Timovski (Sileks, 21, RB), Antonio Kalanoski (Mladost, 21, RW), Besar Iseni (Shkupi, 18, AM), Besart Krivanjeva (Metalurg, 19, CB), Demir Imeri (Turnovo, 20, RW), Egzon Bejtulai (Shkendija, 21, RB), Kristijan Ivanov (Turnovo, 20, CB), Kristijan Stoilkov (Turnovo, 20, GK), Marjan Radeski (Shkendija, 20, RW), Mevlan Adili (Shkupi, 21, CB), Nemanja Ivanov (Sileks, 21, CB), Stefan Jeftoski (Metalurg, 18, CM), Stefan Kocev (Bregalnica, 21, RB), Valentin Kochoski (Turnovo, 18, AM), Viktor Angelov (Metalurg, 21, CF), Visar Musliu (Renova, 21, CB), Vlatko Stojanovski (Metalurg, 18, CF).

The selection for best player of the half-season will be announced in the coming days, so come back to see our choice.

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